Gary Johnston - solo piano
So began the first telephone conversation between pianist Gary Johnston and bassist Denise Lear back in 1993. Understanding the importance of this musical relationship was not lost on either musician with such historic examples as pianist Oscar Peterson and bassist Ray Brown, Keith Jarret and Gary Peacock and Carla Bley and Steve Swallow. But neither Denise nor Gary could foresee what was to follow.
They began performing as a duo and soon formed various groups with singers and instrumentalists, provided music for the theatre, concert hall and club venues and performed on TV and radio both locally and nationally. Eventually their relationship blossomed not only musically but also romantically and on July 20, 1996 they were married.
Since then they have continued to pursue both musical and romantic interests together and the result has been the CD "In A Heartbeat" released in May 2003. Along with Jason Hayward on saxophones, Patrick Boyle on trumpet and Richard Spurrell on drums the duo presents original instumental material composed by Gary and performed in a smooth jazz format.